Gunnar Bergmann Jónsson, managing director of Hrefnuveidimenn, a minke whaling company, said it is strange that anti-whaling posters are still hanging at Keflavík International Airport in spite of declarations from Isavia, the company running the airport, that they’re not consistent with their ethical regulations.
Whale watching in Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Six whale watching companies in cooperation with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) are responsible for these posters, one showing a caricature of two whales, a mother and a baby, and reading: “Meet us, don’t eat us.”
Jónsson stated this is propaganda against a certain industry, whaling and the restaurants carrying whale meat. One of the ads states whales are almost exclusively killed for tourists and therefore they shouldn’t order whale at restaurants.
However, Jónsson explained that 70 percent of the company’s products go to the domestic market; minke whale is mainly bought by Icelanders.
The Sea Baron (Saegreifinn) restaurant at the Reykjavík docks has popular minke whale shish kebabs on its menu. On Thursday the restaurant was packed.
Ragnhildur Jóhannsdóttir, who has worked there for two years, said she has only once received a complaint because of this.
Áslaug Pétursdóttir, an employee of the whale watching company Elding, which is based near the Sea Baron, stated whale watching and whaling don’t go together.
Minke whaling is mostly conducted on Faxaflói bay, which is also where Elding takes tourists for whale watching, she added.